I feel like I’m the only only still listening to More Life. Sure, we agree it was a good album, but by Drake’s standards, it clearly wasn’t his best. My biggest gripe was the fact that every song could’ve fit on a previous album. When you think of your favorite artist releasing new music, you don’t want it to sound like pieces of old albums, you want it to sound new. And More Life was essentially more of the same.
Even as a critic of the originality of More Life, no one seems to be appreciating the variety here. Depth, life, philosophy, emotion, energy, passion (fruit), and clever Instagram captions are all over this album. Why aren’t more people giving it its credit?
Here’s why, it’s a classic example of “too much winning.” Here I am sounding like Pres Donny on the campaign trail. “We’re gonna win, win, win. We’re gonna win so much you’ll get tired of winning!” Tired of winning? Is that possible? I think Drake knows the answer.
The truth is, we naturally like underdogs. We are drawn to new, up & coming individuals who are relatable and give us confidence and energy. We like fresh and original. We want to cheer for the underdog. When the underdog we root for becomes the winner, we feel elevated. But what about when the underdog starts winning too much? They’re not the underdog anymore. They’re just a winner. They keep winning and winning, and what happens? Like Donny said, we get tired of winning. Drake has been winning for the past decade. And people are getting tired of it.
Drake is not the first person to face the reality of CWS: constant winning syndrome. Think of anyone who used to be constantly in the winner’s circle. Tiger Woods, Amy Schumer, Kanye West, Melissa McCarthy, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jackson, Robert Downey Jr., Justin Bieber, and many more. What do they all have in common?They started out as newcomers, Young and talented. They were slowly taking over an industry as the underdog. At 14, Tiger Woods was out-golfing men three times his age. Kobe had to have his parents sign his NBA contract. Justin Bieber was a prepubescent little boy toy when he began his career. Amy Schumer started out doing local gigs and making a name for herself on comedy shows and national competitions. Drake was Jimmy from Degrassi, one of my favorite shows growing up. He stepped into the rap game as an ambitious teenager, and has been winning ever since. All of these individuals were new, up & coming, and underdogs. Then, they got bigger and bigger, and we rooted for them all along the way. But then what happened? They just kept winning!
It’s true, we do get tired of rooting for the winner. It seems people who keep winning can redeem themselves by 1) falling under the radar for a while. Like Melissa McCarthy. She was amazing in Bridesmaids! But c’mon, Spy? Tammy? The Boss? We saw too much Melissa for a while, so she fell off the grid, laid low, and came back stronger than ever. She’s in the news every week for her SNL portrayal of the president’s spicekick, Sean Spicer. It took absence for us to remember how great she is.
And the other way hyper-winning stars who we have become bored with can redeem themselves is 2) scandal. Think about Kobe Bryant’s cheating scandal, Robert Downey Jr’s drug scandal, Justin Bieber’s scandals throughout his thug phase, the winning went down. They started losing. They had no choice but to fall back and recover, out of the spotlight. And they came back, as new, fresh, underdogs. The exact type of person we love to root for.
As an overall fan of Aubrey Drake Graham, whether he’s Jimmy from Degrassi, YMCMB’s newest signee, Drizzy Drake from 2010, or the Drake we know today, I will always be a fan of the man, the performer, the legend, the music, and the message as a whole. I’m just thinking about what’s next for him. Is he going to board the autotune, mumble rap train with Lil Uzi Vert, Desiigner, Young Thug, Future, Quavo, Lil Yachty, and other rappers who make mixtapes and albums that say little more than “*inaudible autotune nonsense* Woah! Yea! Skrrttt skrrttttt. Damn! Yea yea yea! Ok! Whoo! Hoes! Yea! *more inaudible autotune nonsnese*”? (Who I still listen to for some reason.) Is he going to pull a Kanye and expand into new artistic industries? Is he going to revisit his acting career and star in movies? Is he going to pull a Jay Z and fall off the grid and remain super lowkey and mysterious?
Here’s the point, we can feel the momentum slipping from Drake‘s stardom. Even though he’s still top two (and not in second place) he needs to figure out some way to be the new, fresh underdog before we lose interest.
I still love you Drake!
Do you suffer from CWS? Share your story, and stay strong.